Originally Posted by ReluctantGardenStater
I wonder if you feel there is a separate and specific West Tennessee culture?
I've heard from many Tennesseans and Mississippians alike that Memphis can feel more like Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta region than Tennessee.
Yes, West Tennessee has a distinct culture from the rest of Tennessee. Tennessee is one of the few states out there that has distinctions that are so recognized. They are known as the Grand Divisions.
Matter of fact, the State Constitution of TN indicates that "no more than two of the five Justices on the state's Supreme Court can be from any one Division to help keep the court free from geographic bias." Legal Resources
East Tennessee is known for its Appalachian culture, mountainous terrain, and has been one of the most consistently Republican regions in the country since Reconstruction. They were Republican long before the "Southern Strategy" moves of the late 1960's/early 1970's.
West Tennessee, OTOH is flatter, more fertile/agricultural, and has a larger black population compared to the rest of Tennessee. The region has had a higher number of Democrats due to the larger black population, and the labor force in Memphis is more unionized compared to other Southern cities. I've heard West Tennessee is often jokingly referred to as "North Mississippi"